Michael Collins’ swab of cotton withdrawn from auction

A swab of lint and cotton wool, used to clean Michael Collins’ face after his death in 1922, has been withdrawn from auction.

A swab of lint and cotton wool, used to clean Michael Collins’ face after his death in 1922, has been withdrawn from auction.

The swab was due to be sold at an auction in Dublin by Castlecomer auctioneers Mealy’s Rare Books. This afternoon, however, the auctioneers confirmed that the item had been withdrawn from sale, by decision of the vendor.

The decision follows that of another vendor last week to withdraw a lock of Collins’ hair from auction.The decision to withdraw that item came after former MEP Mary Banotti, who is Collins’ grand-niece, said the sale showed ‘disrespect and insensitivity’ to Collins’ family.

Following this, a spokesman for Mealy’s said that despite the controversy, the item would remain for sale, as its owner wished to preserve its future. Ms Banotti had said that decision to continue with the sale was ‘particularly upsetting and distasteful’.

After its withdrawal from sale, the cotton swab will remain in the possession of the original vendor.